There’s a bit of déjà vu to the news measurement specialist ComScore announced today at DMEXCO ’17: The company will offer advertisers, agencies, and publishers free viewability measurements so they can be sure their online ad campaigns are capable of being viewed. The service is free and available globally. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the company made the same announcement back in April. The service was supposed to be available earlier this summer, but that didn’t happen. ComScore says the service was released first in private beta in order to gain feedback and now, after extensive global testing, it’s ready. For real, this time.
The free viewability measurement is a self-service solution where any interested party can monitor their online campaigns across publishers and advertising networks. As many have noted, viewability shouldn’t be the end-goal of a campaign, but a starting point. Proving viewability builds trust, ComScore says, and gives brands the freedom to focus on more advanced goals (such as in-demo reach and frequency, sales lift, and store visits). Advertisers are able to track as many ads or campaigns as they like with the service. The free service’s only limit is tracking up to 1 billion monthly impressions, which “is far more than a vast majority of clients would need,” says Dan Hess, executive vice president of products at ComScore.
To see what the reports look like, scroll down for a sample. Yes, there’s a simple viewability percentage—in aggregate for all campaigns run and individually for each ad or campaign registered. But there’s also a funnel graphic that breaks down gross, platform, measured, and viewable impressions. Setting up a free account takes about five minutes. When complete, the advertiser gets unique tags to put in their ads for tracking. The system works with most visual ad servers, and data will be available one day after starting. Report data can be exported to spreadsheets and shows trends over time.
“By offering free viewability measurement, we’re taking a stand to help marketers benefit from more meaningful metrics, such as who is truly being reached and the impact of creative and placement decisions,” Hess says.
ComScore’s viewability testing relies on the same measurement tag used in the company’s Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) service. vCE is accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC), but at this time the viewability score isn’t.